By John T. Bennett - 12/22/11 10:43 PM EST
The Pentagon announced Thursday it is investigating several possible instances of hazing, and the top American general offered a stark message to his troops.
In a statement to be issued later via social media, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said military officials are “investigating several allegations of hazing within our ranks.” The incidents “appear to be isolated instances of misconduct, but I want to be very clear — hazing is simply intolerable,” the chairman said.
Hazing is a “cruel form of misconduct requires an audience to achieve its intended effect of humiliation,” Dempsey said. “Every service member should be aware that participating in hazing or even observing it without reporting it are both wrong. We are duty bound to protect one another from hazing in any form.”
Dempsey’s announcement and message to the troops came one day after the Army charged eight soldiers in connection with the Oct. 3 shooting death of a comrade-in-arms.
After Pvt. Danny Chen was found shot dead in a guard tower in Afghanistan, it was first suspected he had committed suicide. But a military investigation determined that might not have been the case.
Relatives have told media outlets that Chen, an Asian-American, was hazed by his fellow soldiers.